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“Now in Stores” XIII: Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Publication: Groove Notes
Author: Kevin Kniestedt
Date: June 24, 2011

Songs of Mirth and Melancholy by Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo (Marsalis Music, June 7, 2011)
In ‘Songs of Mirth and Melancholy’ Marsalis and Calderazzo seem to tap into even deeper levels of musical empathy and intuition.

It may have taken just three days to record, but this new duo recording from sax player Branford Marsalis and pianist Joey Calderazzo has 13 years of music-making behind it, dating back to when Calderazzo replaced the late, great Kenny Kirkland in the Branford Marsalis Quartet in 1998. We’ve come to expect a superabundance of imagination from both these players, but in Songs of Mirth and Melancholy Marsalis and Calderazzo seem to tap into even deeper levels of musical empathy and intuition.

Submitted by Courtney on June 29th, 2011 — 11:43am

New Releases: Branford Marsalis / Joey Calderazzo

Publication: Philadelphia Inquirer
Author: Karl Stark
Date: June 26, 2011

Songs of Mirth and Melancholy
(Marsalis Music ***1/2)

Saxophonist Branford Marsalis has done duet recordings with just his father, pianist Ellis Marsalis, and fellow New Orleans native, crooner Harry Connick Jr. Here the tenor and soprano saxophonist takes up with Joey Calderazzo, the pianist of his quartet since 1998, for a session that is surprisingly sublime.

Marsalis and Calderazzo sound classical in the best jazz sense: handsome melodies creating beauty and lots of free space for interaction. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on June 27th, 2011 — 03:53pm

CD Choice: Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo – Songs of Mirth and Melancholy (Marsalis Music)

Publication: Church of England Newspaper
Author: Derek Walker
Date: June 24, 2011

Metamorphosis, the latest release by Branford Marsalis’s quartet, featured tunes written by each of the players, and for me the best were penned by pianist Joey Calderazzo. They brought a breezy, timeless approach to jazz that made listening a pleasure.

This set, made only with bandleader and saxophonist Marsalis, is free of the tight constraints of the rhythm section, and so exudes a fluid ease that suits these largely lyrical pieces.

While the two were already a well-lubricated engine, a short set at the Newport Jazz Festival inspired them to spend a few days capturing this dynamic in the studio.
Read more »

Songs of Mirth and Melancholy: Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo

Publication: News & Observer
Author: Owen Cordle
Date: June 26, 2011

Durham resident Branford Marsalis is clearly enraptured by his soprano saxophone tone. And why not?
On pianist Joey Calderazzo’s “La Valse Kendall,” the third tune on their “Songs of Mirth and Melancholy,” it’s as if Marsalis has resurrected Sidney Bechet, the early New Orleans soprano saxophonist and clarinetist known for his lavishly expressive, flowery playing. The piece sounds classical, as do several others (Brahms’ “Die Trauernde” is included). But this should not deter jazz fans from digging this album, especially its generous melodicism and tonal bliss (which also applies to Marsalis’ tenor saxophone and Calderazzo’s piano). Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on June 27th, 2011 — 03:57pm

‘Mirth and Melancholy’ from Branford Marsalis

Publication: IndyStar.com
Author: Jay Harvey
Date: June 20, 2011

You can’t find any more thoughtful jazz musician than Branford Marsalis. He’s also a master of tone and nuance whenever he picks up the soprano or tenor saxophone. With  Joey Calderazzo, his longtime collaborator on piano (a relationship as fruitful as Marsalis had with cut-off-in-his-prime Kenny Kirkland), he has released “Songs of Mirth and Melancholy” (Marsalis Music).
There are portions of this exploration of deep melody between the two players that stray  into a kind of highbrow easy listening. But mostly the music rewards sustained attention, in a hopefully alpha-wave mode — hard to get into, but an inevitable drag to leave.

  

Submitted by Courtney on June 23rd, 2011 — 04:23pm

Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo: Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Publication: The Boston Globe
Author: Bill Beuttler
Date: June 21, 2011

“Songs of Mirth and Melancholy,’’ the excellent new duo album from saxophonist Branford Marsalis and his longtime pianist Joey Calderazzo, leans more melancholic than mirthful. There is an emphasis on melody, too. A composer giant apiece from the jazz and classical genres is represented, via Wayne Shorter’s “Face on the Barroom Floor’’ and Brahms’s “Die Trauernde,’’ and the performers’ own compositions have a classical-sounding stateliness to them as well, and a relative scarcity of blue notes aside from Calderazzo’s jazzier “One Way’’ and the closing bars of Marsalis’s “Endymion.’’ Those two and Calderazzo’s “Bri’s Dance’’ are as up-tempo and mirthful as the album gets, with Marsalis’s pyrotechnics and tone on “Endymion’’ both calling to mind tenor colossus Sonny Rollins. For the most part, though, the musicians deemphasize playing lots of notes in their pursuit of meaningful melody and sweet melancholy. A couple of standouts in that vein are Marsalis’s “The Bard Lachrymose’’ and Calderazzo’s “La Valse Kendall,’’ both of which (like most of the album) Marsalis performs on soprano. (Out now) Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on June 23rd, 2011 — 04:02pm

Longtime collaborators Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo shine on new duet disc

Publication: Detroit Free Press
Author: Mark Stryker
Date: June 19, 2011

There’s a lot to admire about “Songs of Mirth and Melancholy” ( * * * out of four stars, Marsalis Music), the rewarding new duet album by saxophonist Branford Marsalis and pianist Joey Calderazzo. Calderazzo has been a mainstay of Marsalis’ quartet since 1998, and the rapport the two have built comes into bold relief without bass and drums in the mix.

Read More at the Detroit Free Press

Submitted by Courtney on June 20th, 2011 — 10:00am

Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo: Songs of Mirth and Melancholy

Publication: PopMatters
Author: Will Layman
Date: June 14, 2011

Branford is the fun Marsalis, the Marsalis who played with Sting and the Grateful Dead, the funny Marsalis who fooled around with a movie career (Throw Momma From the Train) and who was the bandleader and sidekick when Jay Leno first took over the Tonight Show way back.

But that can be deceptive. Branford, in many ways, has been just as “serious” about music as his polemical brother Wynton. Particularly when it comes to playing passionately straight-ahead jazz, Branford has been more hard-nosed. His quartet has been a long-standing institution that rarely indulges in themed records or gimmicks. Mostly, Branford has insisted on charging post-bop and aching classic ballads, drawing on the tradition of Rollins, Coltrane and Byas. Branford’s quartet has been an ain’t-no-foolin’-around outfit.

Since the pianist Kenny Kirkland passed away in 1998, the piano chair in Branford’s quartet has been decisively owned by Joey Calderazzo. Read more »

Branford Marsalis/JoeyCalderazzo – Songs Of Mirth And Melancholy – Marsalis Music

Publication: Audiophile Audition
Author: Robbie Gerson
Date: June 13, 2011

  ****½:
(Branford Marsalis – saxophone; Joey Calderazzo – piano)

When Kenny Kirkland passed away in 1998, the future of The Branford Marsalis Quartet was in question. However, pianist Joey Calderazzo proved to be an ideal replacement. Marsalis (under his own label) had been performing and introducing new artists to an ever-expanding jazz milieu. Hailing from a legendary New Orleans musical family, he garnered acclaim as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and the Wynton Marsalis quintet. Subsequently, he formed his own group, but was in demand as a session player (Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Sting and Miles Davis). Additionally, he performed as a soloist for assorted symphonies and orchestras. This duality of classical music and jazz has produced a unique pursuit of artistic expression. In the family tradition, Marsalis has been involved in numerous collegiate workshops and instruction.

When Marsalis and Calderozzo decided to record as a duet, they wanted have a departure from the typical jazz collaboration. Songs Of Mirth And Melancholy does exactly that. Read more »

DCist Preview: Claudia Acuña @ Jazz on the National Mall

Publication:                      DCist
Author: Sriram Gopal
Date: June 10, 2011

Jazz on the National Mall, taking place on Sunday, is the DC Jazz Festival’s showcase event. The concert was left out of last year’s program due to budget shortfalls caused by the recent economic downturn, but two years ago the festival held a two-day affair featuring musicians from New Orleans which drew 80,000 people. This year’s show is limited to a single day, but nonetheless features an all-star lineup, including Toby Foyeh & Orchestra Africa, Frédéric Yonnet, Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor, headliner Eddie Palmieri’s All-Star Salsa Orchestra and rising Latin jazz vocalist Claudia Acuña.

You get a chance to hang out with artists you admire and respect. I love that part of it,” Acuña said of playing festivals like this. “And there’s always a great energy and everyone’s so sweet.”

Acuña’s career has reached the point where she performs regularly in front of large audiences, such as the one that will likely be hearing her on Sunday. However, she does not alter her approach, whether she is performing on a large outdoor stage or in a small club. Read more »

Submitted by Courtney on June 13th, 2011 — 01:08pm